It is not easy having to deal with society’s standards of beauty. From the head down to the toes, there has always got to be some basis that we ‘must’ adhere to in order to fit in.
One of these standards is weight. In the context of fitting in, we often find ourselves in situations that make us go too hard on ourselves. A particular scenario depicting this would be working out. In this blog, we will be talking about body positivity and how you can achieve it through restorative aerial yoga.
There are a lot of workouts right now for you to try and there are even new and emerging ones. You have a plethora of choices but you may be having difficulty finding one that seems to tick all the boxes on your list. If we are to talk about inclusivity, then aerial yoga is probably one of the few workouts that promote it!
Aerial yoga is a wonderful variation of the traditional mat yoga that we know. It has a lot of benefits and has a reputation for its inclusivity and how it enables people of all shapes and sizes to stretch themselves more to the very best that they can be.
The goal of aerial yoga is not just to keep you fit, but it also has the magic of helping you realize how beautiful you are and be grateful for your body’s capabilities!
Why is body positivity important?
Body positivity has long been a part of our history and has been rooted in various factors including gender, race, and the most excruciating of them all: societal standards.
In addressing body positivity, there are several conditions that we should brave on:
- Promote acceptance of ALL bodies
- Challenge the way we, as a society, view bodies
- Dispel unrealistic body expectations
- Help people build the confidence that they need in order to achieve body positivity
First of all, we have to keep in mind, even embed, that not all bodies are the same. There are a lot of factors as to why our bodies are the way that they are. If this is the case, then there would not be any diversity in the way we live and we would all be just robots who are living and repeating the same routine over and over again. If we are not different from each other, then what makes you uniquely you would cease to exist!
Second, there are a lot of factors, as we said earlier, as to why our bodies are different from each other. Particular to this are biological factors such as gender, and external ones such as diet, environment, age and metabolism, and just generally, your overall lifestyle.
Unrealistic body standards are often influenced by social media and us being saturated in it could lead to bad habits as well. To counter that, it is vital that you take a pause, assess, and think if maybe, “Am I being too engrossed in the internet? Are these affecting the way I perceive myself? I think it is time for me to get some self-care.”
Get to know Aerial Yoga
First, it is nice that you are here because you might want to learn aerial yoga with us! In fitness, we have to keep in mind that it is not a “one-size-fits-all” kind of thing. We advise that you consult with a physician first for a more thorough assessment. Yet, if you feel like it is time for you and aerial yoga to meet and get acquainted, then let’s get started!
Aerial yoga, as the name itself suggests, incorporates the use of a yoga hammock or yoga swing to execute yoga poses mid-air! It may sound tricky, complicated, and hard to do at first, but with the right amount of guidance and focus, it will surely be one fantastic activity that you will be trying in this lifetime.
Yoga has probably been one of the distinct traditional practices, particularly in India and Southeast Asia, and made its way through the world, one stretch at a time. As newer routines have appeared over time, aerial yoga has definitely cemented its place in terms of fitness and meditation..
Aerial yoga is fairly simple: all you need is a piece of sturdy and trusted equipment — a yoga swing or aerial hammock, and a mat. Yet, if you feel like a mat is not enough, is too thin, and does not give you your preferred sense of safety, then a crash mat or foam would be advisable.
There are modifications that you can make in order to make your aerial yoga experience the best and even more comfortable. As we said earlier, it is not a “one-size-fits-all” type of exercise — once such modification is restorative aerial yoga!
In saying this, aerial yoga is also about transcending boundaries: you may find some poses difficult, uncomfortable, or could make you feel like you want to stop the entire practice altogether — Don’t!
Flexibility is one of the things that we will benefit from in this activity and it is definitely not achieved after one or a few sessions. Trying to execute complex poses, little by little, day by day, slowly eliminates the difficulty, and with determination, you will certainly just find yourself one day being able to do it effortlessly as if you have been doing it your whole life!
On the same note, aerial yoga could also bring a big amount of comfort and ease to your body but this does not mean that it is not effective. Although it might be true what they say as in, “no pain, no gain”, that is not always the case in aerial yoga.
If you feel like the pain is not supposed to be there or it is an unreasonable amount of pain, then be wise and choose to assess it first before proceeding again or deciding what to do next.
There are different variations of aerial yoga depending on what you need and your goals. There are aerial yoga routines that target muscle building and toning, strength conditioning and is for general fitness. And also, routines that help to ease body aches such as back pains, and so on which could be classified as restorative aerial yoga – But that’s not all that a restorative practice is good for!
What does Restorative Aerial Yoga got to do with body positivity?
In achieving our mission which is body positivity, a restorative aerial yoga routine could be of great help, particularly because of the benefits anyone could get when done the right way. But first, let us define what are restorative exercises and what truly is their role in our mission of building body positivity:
Restorative exercises aim to ease pain and aid the parasympathetic system of our body or what we can also refer to as the “Rest and Digest” system. Aside from these, it also helps restore joint function and muscle movement after strenuous workouts. But what do restorative exercises have to do with being body-positive?
Believe it or not, one of the roots of tapping into our optimistic side is when we feel good about our body mentally, emotionally, and most often, physically. When we do something that does not necessarily strain us too much to the point of burning out, and then makes us reach the unrivaled feeling of fulfillment: it is exhilarating, right? It is definitely something that you would want to achieve over and over again.
That energy, that euphoric, feel-good prana, radiates from within, through your mind, your body, and even to your surroundings and we hope that by this, it also gets to influence the way you perceive not only the aura but most importantly your physical self.
By this, we can say that restorative practices, making sure that you are doing well and is healthy from within, manifests not only in the way you look but also in the way you look at yourself. By changing the way you feel about yourself and the inner dialogue, the outer will change as a positive reflection of this. Also, this will help you to stay motivated along your fitness journey to stay on track to achieving your health goals.
Are restorative exercises the right choice for me?
If we are going to answer this for the sake of marketing our products, then we would say yes instantly. But because we uphold the integrity and trust the beauty of what we practice, it is important to let you in the circle and consider a few pros and cons of doing restorative aerial yoga or just aerial yoga itself.
It is a challenging workout
We cannot deny that aerial yoga, albeit inclusive and all, could prove to be quite the challenge to most people especially those who have issues with their balance. In this case, we recommend doing easy and beginner-friendly routines to kick-start your aerial yoga journey. This is where restorative aerial yoga comes in, as it is gentler and slow pace so you can really feel into the poses while being supported by your aerial equipment.
Aerial yoga is a commitment
Just like all the other workouts, aerial yoga is a commitment. Its effects are not instantaneously seen after just a single session or less. It is important that you uphold consistency in this practice to achieve optimum results.
Finding a community greatly helps
As we said, this practice could be challenging so one of the best ways to battle this is to find yourself an aerial yoga community that makes you feel included and generally be your best self whenever you are with them and practicing together.
This also significantly affects your journey to body positivity because a circle who do not judge in any way, especially with the way you look, is a circle worth keeping and growing with. They’ll also provide a sense of accountability too, which is often needed when you go through your less motivated stages.
Do not be afraid about your weight!
If you are quite overweight you can still do aerial yoga! You may just be confined to the ground for a while as you gradually shed some kilos.
This is where a restorative aerial yoga practice is great, because it may be difficult for you to do a traditional mat based practice or other exercise routines due to mobility limitations and pain, however with the support of the aerial hammock or yoga swing you can do so with greater ease and get the benefits of the practice.
Restorative aerial yoga may not be the fastest fat burner, so it may take some time to see results, but it is a great start because at least you will be moving, strengthening and toning your body, where you may not have been able to with other workouts. Before long, you will be take the practice to higher heights and you’ll be flying!
There are yoga classes that cater specifically to those looking to lose weight, so if you are concerned, it is best to seek them out to ensure you have the proper guidance and equipment. The Gravotonics yoga swings and aerial yoga hammocks withstand an enormous amount of pulling, grasping, and stretching — if your equipment does not promise that, then you might want to think about switching to better!
We strongly encourage our practitioners to not think too much about their weight being a limitation and just proceed with the routine in a slow and controlled manner at their own pacing, and let the equipment support you to your ideal body-weight.
Always safety first!
In purchasing a piece of equipment, it is important that you make thorough research first on whether it is the best choice and whether it can cater to all of your needs all while making sure that you are safe whatever and however, stretching you do.
Here at Gravotonics, the best way that we can do to help you achieve body positivity is by teaching you self-care in the form of aerial yoga, and providing the best equipment on the market.
We always make sure that our products are of the utmost quality and have passed complete testing. We also provide you with the best metal-ware specifically made for both our yoga hammock or yoga swing for your restorative aerial yoga practice.
A positive heart and mind radiates
Whenever you feel like the world is suffocating you of all of its standards and expectations, it is definitely alright to take a little pause to take care of yourself. Oftentimes, we get too engrossed and we push ourselves to just continuously keep up even at the expense of our well-being.
These habits may lead to practices involving the way we perceive ourselves physically. To combat this, we should try our best to practice and discover self-care habits that are inclusive and do not take away a lot of our energy but rather produce.
Channeling all this energy into positive thinking radiates all throughout ourselves. In extension, we feel good, we think good, and we look at ourselves in a more positive light. Give restorative aerial yoga a try today, and feel the benefits as you progress toward greater body positivity!